While my brother and I live in (roughly) the same city – well, he lives within it, and I live 50ks away – we don’t spend a lot of time together, so it was nice to spend some time hanging out with him on the weekend. I asked for a coffee, which he didn’t have, so he offered me some kava which was steeping away in a coffee plunger looking brown and sludgy. “Is it nice?” I asked doubtfully, and he said it tasted how it looked, which was entirely accurate – gritty and sourly unpleasant. Then he taught me how to play The Decemberists’ Down by the Water, which I hadn’t heard before. We recorded a fairly crappy version of the song through the sophisticated method of lying a mic on a table and sitting around it. Given that it’s a directional vocal mic, I thought the balance and sound were surprisingly good – my slightly out of tune ukulele and the uncertain harmonies I was singing, not so much. I really like how our voices blend together, although I suppose that has a bit to do with genetics, rather than our magnificent vocal skills.
Later I had dinner with a friend at Piaf at South Bank, where we shared snails and lamb’s brains for our entrees. I hadn’t eaten either before and didn’t particularly take to them. Not so much because of flavour, as I thought they both simply took on the flavour of what they were cooked with, but the texture of both was fairly unappealing. Particularly the brains, which were softly slippery, and as I swallowed I kept thinking about my own brain, and people eating my brain out of my skull with spoons. I am not an adventurous eater when it comes to offal. And clearly I am also a drama queen. I don’t feel the need to consider my limbs when eating a leg of lamb.
The rest of our meal was fantastic though, and then we wandered along the river for a while and watched a laser light show, while I checked my phone occasionally and updated my disinterested dining companion on the rugby score as Ireland unexpectedly beat Australia. We then went and found a cafe to order dessert, and a couple of enormous long blacks which were served in bowls, with a cute mini milk bottle on the side. I was rather taken with the novelty of coffee-in-a-bowl, but it was an idiotic choice of beverage, given that it was my first coffee of the day and consequently I was cheerful and brightly alert until after midnight when I forced myself to try and sleep. No more novelty sized bowls of coffee for me. Not at night, anyway.